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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cuneiform Records January 2008 Releases
    Posted: January 22 2008 at 05:35
More wonderful surprises:

Featured musicians: Chris McGregor (piano), Louis Moholo (drums), Harry Miller (double bass), Harry Beckett (trumpet), Mark Charig (trumpet), Nick Evans (trombone), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Dudu Pukwana (alto sax), Mike Osborne (alto sax), Alan Skidmore (tenor sax), Gary Windo (tenor sax)

In an era not known for its jazz big bands – the 1970s – the Brotherhood of Breath emerged from adversity and did the impossible. Based in London and led by white South African Chris McGregor, the Brotherhood made music that both swung in the big band tradition of Duke Ellington and Count Basie from days long past, and sqwonked in shared spirit with the new avant jazz improvising groups like the Globe Unity Orchestra – all at the same time, in a single tune. Fueling and firing it all were the rhythms of kwela, high life and other traditional African musics from the core band members’ youth. The result – joyous and jubilant, sounding like no one else – was not merely a breath of fresh air for British jazz, but a revelation. As *All About Jazz* notes: “ can be argued that it was the arrival of the Blue Notes…and their eventual metamorphosis into the core of the Brotherhood that rescued British jazz and gave many young players...a forum to make their mark....” While now cultural fusion is the norm in popular music and audience crossover a mainstream goal in the music industry, McGregor’s work with The Brotherhood of Breath and its predecessor, The Blue Notes, a racially-mixed band based in South Africa, was groundbreaking politically, socially, and musically in its time. Cuneiform Record’s newest release by Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath, *ECLIPSE AT DAWN*, continues the label’s efforts to introduce the Brotherhood’s music to a new generation of fans. Cuneiform’s releases have sparked a renaissance of interest in the vibrant jazz scene surrounding the South African expatriate musicians in London in the ‘60s-70s – a scene whose roots lay in the adversity of Apartheid.

The Brotherhood made only a handful of recordings during their lifetime. In the 2000s, to augment the Brotherhood’s scarce (and mostly out of print) recorded output and reawaken interest in the band, Cuneiform began to release previously unreleased live recordings of Brotherhood concerts. Cuneiform Record’s newest release by Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath, *ECLIPSE AT DAWN*, features a previously unreleased live recording of the Brotherhood’s performance at the Berliner Philharmonie on November 4, 1971 as part of the Berliner Jazztage Festival. The CD is accompanied by a 16-page booklet containing liner notes by Marcello Carlin and historical photos of the band, taken by Roberto Masotti at the actual Berliner Jazztage Festival concert. *ECLIPSE AT DAWN* is essential listening for anyone interested in: jazz big bands, 1970s and 1980s jazz, world music, jazz & world-music fusions, the anti-apartheid movement and the African diaspora, and British jazz.

Press commentary on Cuneiform's past Brotherhood of Breath releases:
“…a new Brotherhood of Breath live CD reminds us of what a wild party they were – and a smack in apartheid’s face. … This stuff is raw and unfiltered. It is as potent as backwoods moonshine. And it is beyond indispensable.” – Ken Egbert, *Tone Clusters*

“Theirs is a story that should be known by heart by all those claiming a scholarly interest in jazz, as it exemplifies that pain and grace that give voice to the music. For those who don’t know their story, take this disc to the woodshed.” – Bill Shoemaker, *Jazz Times*



Produced by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, The Dresden Dolls, Barbez), Beat Circus’ *DREAMLAND* is an astonishing CD: a dark American epic, cinematic in its scope. It is the first part in a Weird American Gothic trilogy of song cycles written by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter, the leader of Beat Circus – a band aligned with Boston’s internationally recognized post-cabaret music scene (The Dresden Dolls, Reverend Glasseye and HUMANWINE). The *DREAMLAND* song cycle is based on historical fact – real people and events in the turn of the century Coney Island amusement park of the same name – interwoven with Carpenter’s fictional tale of an impoverished, alcoholic gold miner who makes a pact with the devil before fleeing eastward to work in Dreamland’s sideshows. In Carpenter’s own words: “…tis a tale of dreams and nightmares, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, responsibility and consequence.” To bring his historical fiction to life, Carpenter created a 150 page musical score that blends Vaudeville, cabaret, parlor songs and other old-time, pre-jazz American popular musical forms with modern composition and post-rock. The resulting music is a surreal new-folk Americana, resounding and brutal in musical and emotional power. Blurring the lines between past and present, fact and fiction, nightmares and the American Dream, Beat Circus’ *DREAMLAND* exists in a perverse and magical netherworld, where reality shifts like sand on Coney Island’s shore.

Beat Circus' *DREAMLAND* CD is filled with unforgettable melodies and dark, gripping narratives. Outside of the music, the *DREAMLAND* CD is, as a physical package, a gorgeous object in and of itself, beautifully designed and lovingly researched and assembled. It contains a 12-page, full-color booklet that provides song titles, musician credits and lyrics (where applicable) for each track, gorgeously laid out by Dave Bias amidst original artwork and historical photos whose visuals expand and augment the meaning and mood of each song. The original cover art was created by Brian Dewan, a NY-based multimedia artist/musician/filmmaker. The gorgeous visuals supplied by Bias and Dewan augment the meaning and mood of the music on *DREAMLAND*, and serve to further blur the line between historical fact and artistic fiction behind the Dreamland tale.

*DREAMLAND* is Beat Circus' second release, and its first recording on Cuneiform. Reviewing the band's debut, *All About Jazz* noted: “Their narrative songs evoke cabaret, Wild West saloons, circus sideshows, and Old World gypsies…but the prodigious musicianship and stylistic miscegenation is all modern; the results, refreshingly entertaining.” Beat Circus would likely please fans of Tom Waits, Carla Bley, Nick Cave, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kurt Weill, Bernard Herman and Danny Elfman.

Beat Circus will tour the East Coast USA in February.
Featured musicians on *DREAMLAND* include: Steven Berson (cello), Holly Brewer (vocals), Brian Carpenter (vocals, harmonica, harmonium, toy piano, drums, trumpet, slide trumpet, tambourine, Mellotron, outside talker, stomping), Ron Caswell (tuba), Brian Dewan (electric zither; also did cover illustrator), Frank Difficult (electronics), DJ Hazard (chain gang, outside talker), Orion Rigel Dommisse (vocals), Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Michael Hearst (theremin) [One Ring Zero], Käthe Hostetter (violin), Chris Jenkins (viola), Julia Kent (cello), Briggan Krauss (alto & baritone saxophones), Matt McLaren (drums, washboard, percussion/stomping), M. McNiss (chorus vocals, chain gang, outside talker). Alec K. Redfearn (accordion, jaw harp, stomping), Todd Robbins (piano) ragtime pianist & sideshow historian: Exec. Director of Coney Island USA & star of], Brandon Seabrook (banjo, mandolin), Sxip Shirey (bells, extended pennywhistle) multi-instrumentalist, Jesse Sparhawk (harp), Helen Yee (violin).



Singled out by iconoclastic genius Frank Zappa while youthful prodigies and invited to join Zappa’s touring band before his death, the Swedish musicians Mats Öberg (keyboards) and Morgan Ĺgren (drums) remain today one of the longest-running (over 25 years!!) and most musically successful collaborations in the universe of fusion and progressive rock. Their Mats/Morgan Band has released eight albums and played countless festivals and concerts, and the two have also played and recorded with other bands, including appearing on a Grammy Award winning 1994 release by Zappa’s Universe. In addition, both have successful independent careers; among other projects, Mats recently released a solo recording and a CD with his band G.U.B.B.. Concurrently, regarded as “Sweden’s top drummer” [Sabian Cymbals], Morgan has played with Roine Stolt’s group Kaipa, Fredrik Thordendal (guitarist for Meshuggah), Simon Steensland, Artis the Spoonman, Glen Hughes, Terry Bozzio, Mike Keneally, Dennis Walley, his own brother, guitarist Jimmy Ĺgren, the electrified string group Fleshquartet, and many others. Mats and Morgan’s latest collaborative release, *HEAT BEATS LIVE*, a double-disc set from Cuneiform, showcases the matured promise that Zappa saw in the Swedish wunderkinds decades before.

This new double-disc Cuneiform release contains *HEAT BEATS LIVE*, a CD featuring recent live recordings by the Mats/Morgan Band at Stockholm’s Club Fasching in May 2005 and April 2007, and in France at Le Triton, a club near Paris, in Sept. 2007. Besides Mats and Morgan, the live CD features performances by Tommy Tordsson (bass), Simon Steensland (baritone horn), Erik Steinberg (tenor sax), Martin Steinberg (alto sax), Jimmy Ĺgren (guitar), and Robert Elovsson (keyboards). Morgan has said in interviews that “Mats/Morgan is first of all a live band,”and *Expose* has noted that “the two most striking things when seeing them live is that keyboardist Mats Öberg, who is blind, plays like a monster, and that drummer Morgan Agren is a beast. …they are a fusion-ish instrumental band of almost impossible virtuosity and a palatable sense of fun.” *HEAT BEAT LIVE* shows the Mats/Morgan Band hot and grooving at its fiery, chopfest best. The Mats/Morgan Band would be of interest for fans of Allan Holdsworth, King Crimson, National Health, Return To Forever, Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa.

The Cuneiform release also includes the first-ever DVD released by either of the band’s leaders, titled TOURBOOK 1991-2007, which features live and studio video footage of Morgan Ĺgren. *TOURBOOK 1991-2007* is a drum extravaganza: a 16-year overview of Morgan’s work. Containing nearly two hours of music in 65 tracks, it features Morgan playing both solo and with his “favorite musicians”, including the Christer Karlberg Trio, Frederick Thordendal, Fleshquartet, Simon Steensland, P. Tjernberg, Jannis Eliasson Band, and playing Beefheart and Magma tributes. Most notably, the DVD features Morgan playing with the Mats/Morgan Band on numerous tracks – these are the first-ever DVD recordings released of that band.

Mutually pleased with their collaboration on *THANKS FOR FLYING WITH US* (their first release on Cuneiform) and *HEAT BEATS LIVE*, Mats and Morgan and Cuneiform Records recently signed a deal for Cuneiform to reissue, with bonus material, Mats and Morgan’s first six recordings, originally available only in Sweden. Limited promo copies of Cuneiform’s Mats & Morgan reissues will be available to the press on special request. The first of these reissues is now available:

Also available this month: MATS/MORGAN BAND *TRENDS AND OTHER DISEASES* - CD (Rune 267) - CUNEIFORM reissue



Biomasa features the octet of bandleader Marc Capel Nadal (keyboards), Vasco Miguel Trilla Gomes dos santos (drums), Josep “Manre” Manresa Zafra (fretless bass), Eneko Alberdi Laskurain (guitar), and a four-piece wind section that includes The-Hien Trinh (trombone), Herman “Mehl” Baureker (alto sax), Rafa Gómez López (tenor saxophone), and Guillermo Villa Vald´s (trumpet, flugelhorn).

The band Planeta Imaginario (Imaginary Planet) is an extraordinary eight piece Spanish jazz-rock/fusion group that plays creative, genre bending electric fusions. Founded in Barcelona in 1999, the band is named after a radically creative children's TV show from the early 1980s. In its music, Planeta Imaginario takes listeners on a magical, sonic journey to a musical Utopia, touching like a time capsule on three decades of jazz and rock and creating unique, new musical fusions of psychedelia and progressive rock. On *BIOMASA*, Planeta Imaginario blends geographically and temporally disparate musical influences, from the English Canterbury School (National Health, Gilgamesh, Hatfield and the North) of progressive rock, Chick Corea’s Spanish fusions, American guitar rock (a la The Allman Brothers Band), West African and Mediterranean rhythms into a fantastically creative, imaginative, evocative and uplifting musical brew.

A studio recording, *BIOMASA* is Planeta Imaginario’s second album and its first release outside Spain, on Cuneiform. More mature and elaborate than the band’s previous compositions, *BIOMASA*’s songs include a world of musical references – everything from A to Z, Allman Brothers to Zappa, and influences from continents ranging from Africa to North America, Europe and beyond. Fans of instrumental music (especially various fusions, jazz-rock, progressive rock and related musics) are encouraged to explore the work of this remarkable Spanish band, whose music should appeal to listeners of such diverse artists as: Anekdoten, AKA moon, Area, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, King Crimson, Avishai Cohen, Steve Coleman, Deus ex Machina, Gabriel Faure, Gilgamesh, Hatfield at the North, Pat Metheny, Nucleus, Soft Machine, Van der Graaf Generator, Frederic Mompou, National Health, Weather Report, Kenny Werner, Frank Zappa, and John Zorn.

Eurock: “If complex music is your thing, then this instrumental octet…will have


The Artist News is compiled by Javier, at [email protected]

In the attached Artist News section, you will find:
A. Artists' News January 2008 (pgs. 1-9 )
(The following artists submitted news on upcoming activities, events, and things to look forward to in the months ahead: Ahleuchatistas, Beat Circus, Gregg Bendian (The Mahavishnu Project), Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Mother Mallard / David Borden, Djam Karet, Doctor Nerve, Peter Frohmader, Hamster Theatre, Hugh Hopper, Peter Lemer, Machine and the Synergetic Nuts, Mats/Morgan Band, The Microscopic Septet, Miriodor, The Muffins, Richard Pinhas, Planeta Imaginario, Radio Massacre International, Roswell Rudd, Wadada Leo Smith, Thinking Plague, University of Errors,
Upsilon Acrux and Volapük.)
B. Tour Dates (pgs. 9-11)
C. Cuneiform Artists' Homepages Listing (pg. 11)
D. Information on January 2008 new releases (pgs. 15-18)


Thank you for your interest in adventurous music.

best regards,
director of publicity & promotion
cuneiform records
[email protected]

“You go your own way, and – eventually – people will catch up to you.”
– Thelonious Monk, as quoted by Steve Lacy [Coda]

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2008 at 20:17
Bought that PI but haven't gotten around to listening to it. I plan to check out Beat Circus as well soon. The samples sounded really Cool
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I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
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